Wax On

I haven’t been remiss in my postings. I’ve been in hibernation. Yes, yes. I know what’s going through your mind. Who does she think she’s kidding? She lives in Arizona!

Yes, I do. But I don’t tolerate temperatures much below 70 degrees, so after several nights of single digit temps and several snow storms I decided I’d had enough and pulled an Uncle Luke.

Okay, maybe an explanation is necessary.

Uncle Luke was a great-uncle on my father’s side who practiced the time-proven method of keeping warm in the winter. Lard up, then put on your Sunday (or only) union suit and don’t even think about takin’ off them drawers or bathin’ ‘til at least April! Better yet, May!

Okay. I didn’t go that far. But I have been busy at other things.

I’ve been formatting.

I’ve had several calls from the same woman over the last couple of months. She asks the same questions every time. She wants to know if I can format for Print on Demand to Createspace requirements. She wants to know if I can format for epublication to Amazon KDP and Smashwords requirements. She wants to know if my work looks amateur or if it looks professional. She wants to know if her manuscript is going to look like an indie publication. She doesn’t want it to look like an indie publication. She wants it to look professional.

I’ve answered her questions in a polite and professional manner, but I have a few comments that I haven’t shared with her. This is my favorite.

“I can put a wax job on a Vega, but it still won’t show like a Corvette.”

My point?  What am I starting with?

  • Can I tell where an intended time lapse is supposed to be, or did she put a space between every single stinkin’ paragraph?
  • Did she use the tab key or space bar to indent her paragraphs instead of the handy-dandy paragraph format tool?
  • Did she use the enter key to start a new line instead of letting the program wrap to the next line when necessary?
  • Did she use the hyphen once for a hyphenated word, twice for an em dash, and three times just because two didn’t seem like enough in some places?
  • Did she put cutesy little flourishes here and there that leave code even when deleted and wreak havoc on the format of an epublication?
  • Did she number every page manually? (Go ahead and laugh. I’ve seen it done.)
  • Did she copy and paste headers into the body of the document? (I’ve seen this done. It didn’t make me laugh.)

That’s the short not-to-do list. Some of which I can overcome and work forward. Some I cannot. I have no idea the writer’s intention when it comes to time lapses, or paragraph beginnings and endings, if the writer doesn’t first prepare the manuscript in a professional manner.

I have formatted the book What Would Judy Say, by Judge Judy Sheindlin. It’s available at Amazon in print and ebook.

I have formatted books that have made the Amazon top 100, and one of them, Drive Me Wild: A Western Odyssey, is nominated for the 2013 Colorado Book Awards.

I can’t take credit for the writing, but you can’t drive that Corvette through a pig wallow and expect it to win best in show.

Talkin’ about pig wall’rs and lard has my taste buds screamin’. How ‘bout we cover a couple ½ pound burgers (rare) with a couple strips of crispy bacon and all the fixin’s, then slap them bad boys on plates with a large side of fries and blue cheese dressing for dippin’? You’re buying. Right?

See you around the barbeque grill,

Arena

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